We had a fabulous trip to Brighton last week. We were so lucky with the weather! It wasn’t exactly a heat wave but we had clear blue skies and sunshine. Darling daughter no 3 is at university in Brighton, so was there to show us around.
Brighton is a fine seaside town in the south of England in East Sussex. It seems to be really buzzing and thriving, with loads of interesting shops, restaurants and bars.
A fine hotel
We stayed at the Queen’s Hotel, right on the seafront, booked through Booking.com. It was a nice hotel with really helpful staff on reception. They upgraded us free of charge from our studio room to a rather swanky apartment. It was up some creaky stairs though, so just as well we are both pretty fit! The breakfast buffet was good too. I didn’t tell them in advance that I am vegetarian, but there was plenty of choice.
It also has a spa in the basement. Because it is an old building they are restricted on the layout, however, so this was quite small. It had a nice little pool (which could have been a bit warmer), a gym and a sauna. We had a swim and sauna before breakfast. The changing rooms are tiny though and got a bit crowded as more people arrived.
There is loads to do in Brighton. We only had two days so we packed a lot in. First stop was a look around the shops in the Lane, a maze of little alleyways. There were a lot of jewellery and antique shops! As we weren’t in the market for jewellery we had a little browse and came across Choccywoccydoodah, an amazing chocolatier. My daughter tells me they featured their own TV show a couple of years ago, which can still be viewed on You Tube.
This was strictly special occasion stuff, and very expensive. Incredibly clever and impressive nonetheless. The chocolate dog was amazing.
There is a big modern shopping centre at Churchill Square too, full of swanky looking shops. We didn’t bother as we can do a shopping centre anywhere.
The Prince’s Folly
No trip to Brighton would be complete without a visit to the Royal Pavilion. It looks like some crazy wedding cake from the outside! George IV turned it from a modest farmhouse to a palace, inspired by India on the outside and China on the interior.
Entry costs £13.50 for an adult and £8 for a child, although there are various concessions and family tickets available (details here). If you buy a history pass you can visit the Pavilion, Brighton Museum and Preston Manor for £16.50.
A trip to Brighton Museum
You will find Brighton Museum in the grounds of the Pavilion. We loved this, especially the display of furniture as you walk in. The Salvador Dali sofa in the shape of a pair of red lips was particularly striking! The Transology section was an eye opener too, reflecting the journeys of some of Brighton’s trans gender community.
Adult tickets are £5.20 and children’s cost £3, but you save money with the aforementioned history pass.
Eye in the sky
The British Airways i360 tower is difficult to miss, sitting as it does on the seafront and 450 feet high. We didn’t have time to do this but it looked quite an experience. It’s quite steep though in more ways than one: adult tickets start at £14.85.
Food for Friends
A friend recommended a vegetarian restaurant called Food for Friends, situated on Prince Albert Street just off the Lanes. We understood why she raved about it. The food was fantastic. Delicious, sophisticated and unusual.
I had the yummiest chocolate pudding I have ever tasted, a gluten free one with a molten, dark filling. We all enjoyed our food and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. The staff were also lovely – our waitress, Hannah, couldn’t have been more enthusiastic and helpful. She even made me a little happy birthday in chocolate!
You need to book, though, as Food for Friends is unsurprisingly popular.
The beach and piers
We had sunny days, but it wasn’t exactly beach weather. However, there were plenty of people out for a stroll along the seafront. Brighton has a shingle beach (Wikipedia tells me it is 5.4 miles long) with little shops, clubs and bars in the old boat sheds along the front.
Because it was the Easter holidays, the Palace Pier was packed with families. There were loads of rides and eateries. My kids would have loved it when they were little, although you could very easily spend a shedload of cash.
The derelict West Pier can still be seen from the beach. It is a shell of its former glorious self, but apparently the most photographed place in Brighton. We couldn’t resist either!
For more information on the sights and attractions of Brighton go to the Visit Brighton website. If you fancy a break, a trip to Brighton could be just the thing.
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